Shaun Livingston has been a secret weapon for the Warriors in the Finals. One that’s not so secret anymore.
His stats are impressive off the bench for Golden State: 9.3 points per game on a ridiculous 13-of-14 shooting. He has an offensive rating of 179 in the Finals. He knows who he is and what he does well on the court — midrange jumpers — and he plays within that. He’s another of the Warriors’ high IQ players.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr was singing Livingston’s praises on KNBR 680, as reported by NBC Sports Bay Area.
“The unsung guy in this series has been Shaun Livingston. He’s been brilliant,” Steve Kerr said on KNBR 680 on Thursday. “He’s bailed us out a few times when we’ve had foul trouble. And he’s kind of taken over the offense and has given us great minutes at both ends.
“Shaun and Andre (Iguodala) — it’s been a really interesting year for both of them. Where they are in their careers — with their age, with the mileage — I think they have paced themselves to get to this point. And they’ve both been fantastic in the playoffs and really picked it up.
“It’s really exactly what we needed them to do.”
The Cavaliers haven’t gotten anything like that from their bench.
Certainly, the Warriors are up 3-0 in the NBA Finals because they have four All-Stars playing in sync while the Cavaliers need LeBron James to be superhuman to even have a chance. But it’s also the things around those stars: The Warriors switching is much smoother on defense, for one. And then there is Livingston, and Andre Iguodala, and even Jordan Bell giving them quality minutes off the bench.
Livingston, in particular, has been huge, and the Warriors have him locked up for two seasons after this one at a very reasonable $16 million total. He’s not going anywhere.